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AS A NEWCOMER TO THE D.C. area, I was disappointed with Washington City Paper‘s coverage of Jerry Garcia’s death (“O Captain! Our Captain!,” The District Line, 8/18). While Eddie Dean showed some respect for Garcia’s life and music, he also took the opportunity to show disdain for part of the community that surrounded the Grateful Dead.

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Someone with greater interest and sensitivity could have written a more insightful piece about the passing of this talented musician and the response of his many fans that would have added to an understanding of Garcia and the Deadhead phenomenon while respecting the experience of loss of the Dead’s diverse following.

Walt Whitman’s mournful exclamation to the fallen Lincoln opens the article with the promise of compassion for the grieving, but instead Dean delivers a brief dismissal of the experience. Jerry Garcia, the Deadheads, and your readers deserve better.

Takoma Park, Md.